08/26/10 12:00am
08/26/2010 12:00 AM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO

The Evans K. Griffing County Center in Riverside where the new Veterans clinic will be located.

Disabled East End veterans like Richard May travel about 100 miles round trip from Southampton to the Northport Veterans Affairs Medical Center to receive health care, a burden in both time spent and gas cost.

“Last week, I went twice in a week,” the commander of the Riverhead American Legion Post 273 said.

But eastern Suffolk vets soon won’t have to travel an hour or more for most medical care in Northport; a new clinic is expected to open at the county center in Riverside by December.

And though there is an East End VA clinic inside the Gabreski Airport in Westhampton, officials have said the facility, located on the Air National Guard side of the airport, is hard to reach via public transportation and tight security measures have caused problems for veterans trying to access the clinic. That facility has also been described as antiquated by County Executive Steve Levy.

Last Tuesday, the county Legislature approved a measure allowing Mr. Levy to sign off on a 10-year lease for the VA clinic at the County Center.

“The services offered by the VA can be life-altering, and so we are proud to provide increased benefit access to our East End veteran population,” Mr. Levy said.

The county executive has championed the cause for the past few years with 120,000 veterans currently living in Suffolk County, more than any other in the state, said Dan Aug, a spokesman for Mr. Levy.

In 2008, the county secured a $500,000 state grant to finance half the building cost of the new facility, which is to be located within the existing County Center. The county picked up the rest of the $1 million price tag.

The new 4,000-square-foot, two-story facility will offer primary and mental health care to any Suffolk veteran. The center will also feature a new elevator for veterans with mobility problems.

Vets will still need to travel to Northport for services such as CT scans and MRIs.

The Department of Veterans Affairs, which is run by the federal government, will oversee and staff the new clinic.

Riverhead Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2476 commander Gene McSherry said the new clinic, in addition to helping East End residents, will also lighten the workload for hospital workers at the Northport VA.

“It’s going to take a lot of pressure off Northport,” he said.

It will also help older veterans living on a fixed income, Mr. McSherry said.

“[The veterans] don’t get paid mileage,” he said. “Every veteran I’ve talked to so far is happy this center is going to be there.”

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08/26/10 12:00am

Senator was gearing for a fight

Regina Calcaterra’s name may not appear on the ballot opposite state Senator Ken LaValle’s this November, but the Democratic hopeful still forced the longtime incumbent into action this year.

With the threat of having to run his first aggressive campaign in years, financial disclosure reports filed in July show Mr. LaValle, 71, ramped up his fundraising efforts in 2010. The Republican from Port Jefferson doubled his available funds from two years ago, when he ran unopposed for his 17th term in office.

Mr. LaValle raised $107,000 over the first six months of 2010 to increase his total war chest to $269,500. It was the first time this decade that the senator had raised six figures in the first six months of an election year.

Ms. Calcaterra, meanwhile, will have to decide what to do with the nearly $140,000 in her coffers after a judge found she had not been a New York resident for the required five consecutive years immediately preceding the election. The New Suffolk attorney raised more than $295,000 since she began fundraising last July.

While she spent nearly half of what she raised on campaign expenses, a disclosure report filed this week shows Ms. Calcaterra was forced to cough up more than $29,000 in legal expenses last month in an attempt to keep her candidacy alive.

A rundown of congressional hopefuls

The biggest question so far this campaign season is over which candidate will receive the GOP nomination to oppose Congressman Tim Bishop, a Democrat from Southampton.

While a primary is still a month away, financial disclosure reports filed at the end of June show Republican hopeful Randy Altschuler had the most cash on hand to wage a challenge. Mr. Altschuler had about $1.8 million cash in his coffers, with more than $1.5 million in debt.

Chris Cox, considered by many to be the favorite to earn the GOP nod, had just under $840,000 on hand, but his campaign had racked up more than $1 million in debt.

A third candidate, George Demos, had no debt, but his disclosure report shows he raised just $300,000.

Mr. Altschuler had spent just over $1 million by the end of June on his campaign, more than the other two GOP hopefuls combined.

Mr. Bishop, meanwhile, had nearly $1.5 million cash on hand with no debt, as he seeks a fifth term in office. He’s spent over $500,000 this election cycle.

The Republican primary will be held Sept. 14.

A quiet challenger for Assembly seat

By mid-July, Suffolk County Legislator Dan Losquadro had raised just $16,000 this year in his bid to unseat incumbent Assemblyman Marc Alessi, his financial disclosure report filed July 15 shows. Having spent more than $20,000 in the first six months of 2010, the Republican from Shoreham had just $13,000 on hand. His total campaign funds were down more than $38,000 from a year ago, when he ran his most recent re-election campaign for county Legislature.

Mr. Alessi, also of Shoreham, showed more than $50,000 available to his campaign, having raised about $15,000 this year.

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08/26/10 12:00am

RANDEE DADDONA PHOTO
From left, landscape supervisor Georgeann Packard, greenhouse manager Peter Gundersen, owners Anne Trimble and Nancy Leskody and landscape foreman J.P. Garcia.

Owners: Anne Trimble and Nancy Leskody

Year established: 1991

Location: 20985 Route 25, Cutchogue

Phone: 631-734-6494

Number of employees: 5

At Trimble’s of Corchaug Nursery in Cutchogue, where there are four acres of showcased plant material, “we cultivate a ‘small box’ mentality when it comes to the variety of plants we offer and our first-class service, always keeping our quality high and our prices competitive,” said owners Anne Trimble and Nancy Leskody.

Ms. Trimble, who directs the landscape division, designs and installs gardens for both commercial and residential properties. Ms. Leskody, in charge of the nursery, is a creative force behind the plant selection, growing practices and sales displays.

Trimble’s invites customers to explore the greenhouse, perennial hoop houses and the entire portfolio of trees and shrubs.

Many of the plants are propagated at the nursery from seed, vegetative cuttings and division. “We are ‘cool growers,’ so our plants are better acclimated once planted in your garden. That means they are not over-fertilized with synthetic products, doused in weed killers or sprayed with harsh insecticides. As in nature, we grow from the soil up, using an organic soil medium specially formulated for the specific plant,” said the owners.

Trimble’s also offers unique pottery, container plantings and planted bowling balls.

Trimble’s is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; its website is trimblesnursery.com.

08/26/10 12:00am

THURSDAY, AUGUST 26

9:30 a.m. Southold Zoning Board of Appeals, Town Hall.

5 p.m. Greenport Planning Board work session, Third Street firehouse.

8 p.m. Cutchogue Fire District special meeting.

MONDAY, AUGUST 30

4 p.m. Southold Planning Board work session, Town Hall.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 31

7 p.m. Southold Land Preservation Committee, Town Hall Annex.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 2

5 p.m. Greenport Planning Board, Third Street firehouse.

08/26/10 12:00am

Back Camera

Who said paper balloting is old-fashioned and cumbersome, a leftover from the old days? In Suffolk County, it’s the way of the future.

The county is rolling out a new voting system with the primary elections on Sept. 14, more than three years after it lost a lawsuit against the state to challenge implementation of a federal law requiring an end to all voting by mechanical lever machines.

The county, which has used mechanical lever machines for generations, has chosen optical scanners over electronic touch-screen voting machines, which have been the subject of controversy because they keep no physical record of votes.

With optical scanners, voters are given a paper ballot, which they mark in a booth and then insert in a central machine outside the booth that counts the vote. The scanner stores the paper ballot as a backup to be used for recounts or when election inspectors believe a machine has malfunctioned.

The Southold GOP will hold a demonstration of the new voting machine on Thursday, September 2 from 2 to 8 p.m. at its headquarters behind the Cutchogue Post Office on Griffing Street. All are welcome to attend.

The phasing out of lever-style voting machines was mandated by the 2002 Help America Vote Act, which was spearheaded by the Bush administration in an attempt to streamline voting after the ballot-counting fracas in Florida following the 2000 presidential election. New York State used a different voting process than Florida, but the law found that lever machines were prone to several glitches and problems and required them, as well as all paper-punch systems like Florida’s, to be replaced with either optical scanners or touch-screen machines.

New York was the last state to give up lever voting machines and Suffolk is last county in the state to make the switch.

In 2006, County Executive Steve Levy sued the New York State Board of Elections, which was charged with implementing the federal mandate, citing the lever machines’ reliability and the cost of replacing 1,500 machines. By then, New York State had asked all counties to replace lever machines with optical scanners or other devices that would ensure a paper trail if the machines malfunctioned.

Members of the Suffolk County League of Women Voters have been pushing the county to opt for paper ballots and optical scanners since 2006, in part because they say they are a low-cost alternative to touch-screen machines.

Judie Gorenstein, vice president for voter services for the league’s Huntington branch, told the county Legislature in 2006 that the county would need only 514 optical scanners, which would cost about $3 million, while it would need 1,500 touch-screen machines, at a cost of around $14 million, to handle its election general process. The reason, the league said, was that because optical scanners are not inside the booth, where a voter might linger over his or her choices, they are not subject to slowdowns in the tabulation process if voters take a long time. Touch-screen machines combine the selection and tabulation process, making them more prone to those delays and therefore able to process fewer voters in a given time.

The optical scanners also make voting easier for people with handicaps, said Tom Knobel, who serves as an assistant to Suffolk County Election Commissioner Cathy Richter Geier. The privacy booths are wide enough and low enough to accommodate wheelchairs. Mr. Knobel said it will also be easier for people to write in candidates, because the lever machines had an unwieldy window high up on the ballot where voters had to reach up to write in candidates’ names.

“We were very happy with the lever voting machines, but there’s no way to say whether the odometer wheel hitched somewhere while recording votes,” he said. “With optical scanners, the ballots will tell the tale. The ultimate form of security will be there.”

Mr. Knobel said that polling places will have dark pens on hand to ensure that people mark their ballots clearly. He added that if the optical scanner cannot read markings, it will immediately inform voters, who can re-mark and resubmit their ballots.

The ballots themselves will carry no personal information on voters, and people will still check in at their polling places in the same manner they do now. A demonstration of the optical scanner in action can be found at suffolkvotes.com.

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08/26/10 12:00am

An unprecedented number of Mattituck-Cutchogue’s junior high school soccer players have met strict requirements to play junior varsity ball this fall, but the decision to allow them to play at a higher level didn’t sit well with some members of the Board of Education.

Nevertheless, the Mattituck Board of Education on Aug. 19 voted 4-1 to approve the students’ enrollment in high-school-level sports.

Four boys and four girls met state requirements to play on high school teams, though one of the boys has decided to play with a traveling league instead of the school, said Athletic Director Gregg Wormuth at a school board meeting last week.

“Eight is a little unusual, but these kids are becoming specialists in their sport. They’re very good in what they do,” said Mr. Wormuth, who added that the students had met strict academic, physical and technical guidelines for participating in higher level sports.

Some members of the board said they were concerned that the students would throw off the balance of high school teams and challenge the individual students unnecessarily.

“I personally think kids belong where they belong, with their age group,” said school board member Jeff Smith, who cast the sole dissenting vote on allowing the students to move up. Others had appeared ready to vote no during the discussion but, in the end, approved the move.

Mr. Smith said that he believed the influx of younger students would make it harder for older students to play as much as they are accustomed to.

Mr. Wormuth conceded that the move would decrease playing time for older students but said that the new students “will be impact players. They will be challenged and they will grow. To keep them at the 7th- or 8th-grade level is not challenging them.”

Other board members said they were concerned that, once the students start junior varsity competition, they only have a small window of time to change their minds if they don’t think they’re up for the challenge.

“There’s a reason they call the first week of practice ‘Hell Week,’ ” said board member Charles Anderson. “It could get very scary.”

“That’s why it’s selective. Not every kid is cut out for it,” said Mr. Wormuth. “The coaches, kids and parents thought they could handle the pressures.”

Mission Statement progress

The school board’s mission statement committee has finished a draft of a new mission statement designed to foster a culturally diverse environment. The school is drafting the new policy after it was criticized last year by Southold Town’s Anti-Bias Task Force for a lack of attention to diversity.

The school will present the draft to its diversity committee on Aug. 31, discuss it with faculty on Sept. 3 and present it to parents and students at back-to-school nights. A public forum on the mission statement will be held on Oct. 6 in the Cutchogue East library and it is slated to be voted on by the board at its Oct. 21 meeting.

After-school FIZZLE

SCOPE Education Services, which provides after-school programs for students at Cutchogue East Elementary School, has requested a reduction in the school’s fee to use the building. SCOPE representative George Duffy told Mattituck-Cutchogue Superintendent Jim McKenna earlier this month that his organization had been running the program at a loss for the past two years due to dwindling enrollment. An average of about 15 students use the services.

The board agreed to a building-use fee reduction from $15,000 to less than $11,000 per year for the program.

“This is something the community needs. They need some place for kids to go after school,” said board member Jeff Smith.

Perspective on scores

Mattituck-Cutchogue’s administrators have been reviewing the school’s testing data in light of new strict New York State scoring methods. District officials hope to define areas in which the school needs to increase staffing to help students meet higher standards.

If the school used the old scoring methods of prior years, 97 students in grades 3-8 would have needed extra help in English and 40 students would have needed help in math this year. Using the new scoring methods, 223 students need English help and 190 need help in math this year.

“We’re still trying to figure out what these numbers mean,” said Mr. McKenna. “It would be hard to tell parents ‘no, we don’t have to pay attention to these scores this year.’ “

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08/26/10 12:00am

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO
The old Brewster House, near the Memorial Park on Flanders Road, has seen better days.

Many visitors to Flanders today flock to see the Big Duck on Route 24, but just half a mile down the street, another local landmark is sitting in dire disrepair.

The Brewster House, a hulking four-story, 28-room former boarding house and hotel on 1.8 acres, can be seen through dense foliage behind the hamlet’s memorial park only because of its size and its deep blue paint.

Hugh Wyatt of Sag Harbor, who publishes a national newspaper called The Medical Herald that covers African American health issues, purchased the structure about a decade ago. He initially had several big plans, either to develop it as a hotel or Native American museum, or to turn it into a center where the underprivileged could receive affordable health care.

“I also considered using it as a UPS store. There’s no postal facility in the Flanders area,” Mr. Wyatt said.

The building’s roof, which was cut open by firefighters to attack a blaze in 1987, never has been repaired. Mr. Wyatt tried about two years ago to interest Southampton Town in buying the property through the Community Preservation Fund. The town was reluctant to sink money into a property that would require so much work. Since then, Mr. Wyatt’s asking price has risen. It stands now at $844,000.

“It is a very serious historic site,” he said. “I wanted to preserve it, but there’s no commitment, no real interest. It’s dangerous to go inside,” he said, adding that vandals had stolen many vintage light fixtures.

“If I don’t raise the money to develop it, I will sell it,” he said.

Gary Cobb, who founded the Flanders Historical Society last year, shares Mr. Wyatt’s goal of preserving the property, but he believes it will take a level of financial commitment that few can muster.

“It’s really a thorn in my side that it’s just falling down,” he said. “Water’s been pouring through that roof in excess of 20 years.”

Mr. Cobb has been researching the history of the house for several years. He said that he and historic preservation expert Zachary Studenroth have seen rough-hewn beams in the basement that lead them to believe parts of the building could date back to the 1700s. Back then, the property was owned by the Fanning family of Southold, who ran a 100-acre farm that covered the entire Pine Neck peninsula. Sea captain Nathan Penney purchased the farmhouse in 1844 and expanded it, opening it as a boarding house after he retired in the 1880s.

“That was the boarding house era. They were quite the thing at the time,” said Mr. Cobb. “It was the first one in the Flanders area. Apparently it attracted a very elite group of New York City businessmen who were looking for sport in hunting and fishing.”

“Everyone from the Roosevelts to Al Capone stayed there,” said Mr. Wyatt.

The most regular visitors formed The Flanders Club in 1891, which eventually controlled 10,000 acres on which black duck and pheasant were raised to be shot for sport. The members of the Flanders Club eventually leased the entire boarding house from Mr. Penney, who was hired as club superintendent.

“They were a very low key, quiet, reclusive group … They were looking for escape. They liked the duck blind, cabin in the woods feel,” said Mr. Cobb. “They eventually built a sportsman’s lodge on an adjacent three-acre parcel, where they spent their time sipping bourbon and telling hunting stories.”

Mr. Cobb’s research revealed that the Brewster family bought the property from Captain Penney in 1922 and ran it as a summer hotel until the early 1960s.

Late in the 1950s, Anna Brewster’s husband, a popular police captain, committed suicide in one of the hotel’s back rooms. After that, the Brewsters sold the hotel to the MacPhee family, who turned it back into a boarding house where summer workers would take rooms for the season.

“The MacPhees never really operated it to capacity,” Mr. Cobb said. “A few people would come scratching at the door, but it was pretty much done. It’s been done for 23 years or more. It’s just melting away.”

“I made an appeal to the Southampton Town Board,” he added, “and tried to get them to pay attention to it, but based on the condition of the building, they decided they were not interested. The building is not an asset, it’s a liability. You’re looking at a piece of land in Flanders, which is not worth that kind of money. It needs someone like the person who renovated the Jedediah Hawkins Inn in Jamesport to fix it.”

Mr. Cobb, who was appointed to the Southampton Town Landmarks and Historic Districts Board last year in part because of his advocacy for the Brewster House, said there’s little his board can do but document historic houses as the owners decide to tear them down.

“We’re working to change the town code to say we can landmark a building without the owner’s consent. But landmarking just recognizes that it’s historical. Landmarking does not save it,” he said. “If I won megamillions, I would buy it and restore it and give it to the town.”

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08/26/10 12:00am

The days are getting shorter, the start of school approaches, and opportunities for lying about at the beach with a book are diminishing. Advance planning will be necessary to squeeze the last drops of pleasure out of summer. My plan includes finishing ‘The Big Sleep’ by Raymond Chandler because it is Floyd Memorial Library’s next book discussion topic and it is actually a lot of fun to read. Published in 1939, when Raymond Chandler was 50, this is the first of the Philip Marlowe novels. Vivid bursts of sex, violence and explosively direct prose changed detective fiction forever.

Then I will read ‘Fall Asleep Forgetting’ by Mattituck author Georgeann Packard. Her brand-new novel takes place in a small Long Island beach town during one lazy, hazy, crazy summer. It is getting really good reviews and I am madly looking forward to reading it as soon as I get a few hours in my bathing suit.

Another local author, Jackson Taylor, has just published an amazing novel, ‘The Blue Orchard.’ There are lots of wonderful things about this book, but part of what Taylor has done is to take the true life experiences of his own grandmother, and from listening to her, doing research, asking questions and listening again, he has imagined and written, as a novel, the story of her life. That story mainly took place in Harrisburg, Pa., where she was a white nurse working for an African-American doctor who performed abortions in the 1940s and ’50s, when they were illegal. The story goes deep into the American confusion about race, sex, religion, politics and morality and it does so without any soapboxes, just with lives that are as real as the lives of any of our own relatives.

SBlt

Reading the daily newspaper today got me thinking how we often separate the world into two kinds of people, the glass-half-empty people versus the glass-half-full people, or strict constitutionalists versus flaming liberals, early adapters versus Luddites and so on. Probably things are more complicated than that kind of dualistic thinking allows for and really everyone is on various continuums, sliding about a bit on the arcs of differing opinions. I was perplexed by an article in the Other Times (“Bookstore Arrives and Sides are Taken” by Julie Bosman, Aug. 16, New York Times) about the rivalry between two bookstores in Westhampton, and it makes me wonder whether I am a lunatic optimist or a laissez-faire capitalist or both or what?

There are those who feel that there are only X number of people in any locality who are going to buy books and therefore, if there are two stores selling books, they will compete for the finite number of dollars that the finite number of people have to spend. If you think this way, then you have to think that all libraries are in competition with all bookstores; that library book sales are in competition with library circulation figures; that, for instance, here in Greenport, our wonderful purveyor of used books, The Book Scout, is locked in mortal combat with our terrific independent bookseller, Burton’s Books, and both of them against us at Floyd Memorial.

Nothing could be further from the truth. That is some kind of old school economics based on some notion of scarcity that is entirely beside the point.

I am no economist, but it seems to me that what we are buying these days are experiences, not widgets, and while books as objects may be sort of widgets in one sense, the reading, the thinking about them, the browsing, the choosing, the talking about books are what constitutes the experience and that experience is enriched by a community of book lovers. A village where people can walk from one bookstore to another should be a happy place, for the booksellers as well as the buyers, because the very fact of choice and multiple opportunities makes more people buy more books. That model seems to work in Greenport for ice cream, dirty martinis and coffee. Why, in Westhampton, should it be so different for books?

There are people in Greenport who feel about coffee shops a bit like some of these Westhamptonites feel about bookstores. There was worry that Starbucks would eclipse Aldo’s, not to mention Bruce’s or D’Latte. It is a little different, because Starbucks is more like a Barnes and Nobles, a national corporate entity, but still, when you go in, there are local kids serving your coffee, art by local artists on the walls and good coffee of a certain sort. Aldo’s has what might be the best coffee in the world and a very idiosyncratic ambiance. Cafà society in this town can often be seen for a while in one place, then for a while in the other. There is no need to be monogamous in one’s relationships with coffee shops or bookstores. Thank goodness.

Ms. Johnson, of Greenport, is assistant director at Floyd Memorial Library and moonlights as an artist and newspaper columnist.

08/26/10 12:00am

My mother always said that a good meal indoors tastes twice as good outdoors. She was a whiz with a hibachi grill, an expert hamburger maker and a skilled picnic-packer. Except for the time (in 1964) she brought warm spaghetti for the family to eat at a Mets game, her picnic planning was flawless. We can forgive her for the spaghetti, as it was an anomaly for our Anglo-Saxon family, and Mom was trying to look worldly-wise in the new Shea Stadium.

I’m still not fond of pasta at picnics, but I do love to eat outdoors. These waning days of summer are better for outdoor dining than the sweltering dog days. For a wine fancier, the East End offers many congenial places for both plain and fancy dining al fresco. Depending on your preference (and their alcohol policies), you can choose from among our many bucolic parks and beaches, the wineries that sell food or permit picnicking and the restaurants that offer outdoor dining.

I used to take disposable plates and utensils to the beach but, in an effort to keep plastic out of the trash, now I keep a stash of yard sale-quality, machine-washable accoutrements ready for excursions. The random assortment of forks, Granny’s frayed linen napkins and scratched, mismatched plates are awful indoors, but charming at the beach. So what if I lose the wooden-handled forks I got for free at a Rochester Mobil station in 1972?

You don’t need an elaborate wicker picnic basket, but do pack everything neatly in separate containers, the food well-chilled and pre-sliced.

Choosing a wine for a picnic is not at all the same as choosing wine to go with similar foods indoors. A breeze and sunshine will alter your perception of aroma and flavor, so delicately nuanced wines are wasted outdoors. Woody wines will taste clumsy and high-alcohol wines are as foolish as tanning oil. I don’t agree with those who think a picnic is an opportunity to cheerfully serve rotgut and get away with it. You don’t have to serve expensive wine, but do be thoughtful about how the wine and food will play together.

Aromatic but dry white wines are picnic-worthy, especially those with plenty of acidity. I like Bedell’s Taste White, a blend of chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, viognier and gewúrztraminer, but at $30 a bottle, at a picnic it’s better for a couple than a crowd. Clovis Point’s 2006 Chardonnay has a kicker of 1 percent gewúrztraminer that takes its fruit into the assertive category, nice if you’ve got some fried chicken or a chunk of aged manchego. Raphael’s sauvignon blanc is splendid with Braun Seafood’s mixed lobster and shrimp salad (to which I add fresh ginger and lime juice and serve on a hot dog bun, like a lobster roll). Enough has been said already about rosà wines, so choose your own. As for reds, Long Island cabernet franc is light and spicy, great with grilled sausage or Serrano ham on a baguette.

The Peconic Bay Nautique wines are intentionally fresh and uncomplicated, well-matched for outdoor eating, and the grounds of Peconic Bay Winery, with their cushioned chaises and big umbrellas, are most hospitable for tasting and picnicking outdoors. There you can purchase small plated tapas to go with your wine tasting. Some other vineyards sell tasting plates to pair with their wines. Croteaux Vineyards’ courtyard ambiance enhances the flavor of its tasting selections, while cheese or charcuterie on the deck at Wölffer Estates is unparalleled for outdoor elegance.

Paumanok Vineyards welcomes you to bring your own picnic to the winery’s spacious deck. While picnicking at Osprey’s Dominion, you can even fly your kite. But remember, it is extremely rude (not to mention illegal) to drink alcoholic beverages other than those purchased on site, so do not, under any circumstance, bring your Budweiser or your Gallo Sonoma to drink at a local winery. The wineries are in business to sell wine; they are not parks. Call ahead for their picnicking policies.

I wish the villages would allow more cafà cuisine. When I don’t want to pack my own picnic, I do enjoy dining on the deck of Greenport’s Cuvà e as well as the Vine Cafà ‘s patio. On the South Side I like Citta Nuova in East Hampton or Sant Ambroeus in Southampton. On Shelter Island, the terrace at the Ram’s Head Inn, where I recently dined, was superlative. Clams with spicy sausage, Macari sauvignon blanc, a rising moon and music by the Baxter-Miller Band — now, that was worth a detour.

Ms. Hargrave was a founder of the Long Island wine industry in 1973. She is currently a freelance writer and consultant.

08/26/10 12:00am

* DeCordova Studio and Gallery in Greenport will host ‘Art from the Heart,’ a live and silent art auction, Saturday, Aug. 28, from 3 to 7 p.m. at the home of Victor Ozeri in Aquebogue. The auction will feature original works by over 40 artists in oils, acrylics, watercolors, prints, photographs and sculptures. Bidding will start at $200. For directions, call 631-477-0620.

* Steven Blier, Sasha Cooke, Kelly Markgraf, concert singers and John Brancy, pianist will perform Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Granados, Kurt Weill and more to benefit Poquatuck Hall in Orient at 8 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 28. For tickets call 631-323-1378.

* Art Sites in Riverhead will feature works by sculptor Hiroyuki Hamada beginning with a reception Saturday, Aug. 28, from 5 to 7 p.m. The show will run through Oct. 10.

* The duo of Linda Bonaccorso and Mark Quintana will preform at Floyd Memorial Library in Greenport Sunday, Aug, 29 at 2 p.m. The duo will present a variety of songs including show tunes, gospel, pop standards and original compositions.

* Peconic Green Growth will host a screening of the documentary, ‘No Impact Man’ at Art Sites in Riverhead Sunday, Aug. 29, at 4 p.m. followed by a question and answer session with the film’s star, Colin Beavan. A $10 donation is suggested. After the film, Mr. Beavan will host a fund raising dinner for $250 per person with all proceeds going to the No Impact Project. Call 631-591-2401.

* ‘In My Garden,’ photographs by Patrick Haggerty will be on display at Mattituck-Laurel Library for the month of September. In addition, ‘Fairy Houses and Gnome Homes’ by students that participated in the teen summer program will be in the display cases. Mr. Haggerty has donated a photograph, on display at the circulation desk, that will be raffled off Sept. 30 to benefit library programs.

* Mike Reilly of Pure Prairie League, bluegrass musician and radio host Buddy Merriam and Big Duck vice president Lisa Dabrowski will be the judges of the upcoming Big Duck Songwriting Contest. The contest, the idea of singer and songwriter Caroline Doctorow, is a fund raiser for Friends of the Big Duck and is open to the public.

Songs may be submitted on CD, DVD or cassette tape and may be mailed, along with a $20 entry fee per song, payable to “Friends of the Big Duck,” to LAD Productions, P.O. Box 102, Aquebogue, NY 11931. Entries must be received by Sept. 1. The winning entry will be presented at the “Bluegrass and Big Duck Country Music Festival and Farmers Market” to be held Sept. 11. Visit bigduck.org for more information.

* ‘Dreams of Water,’ an exhibition of original oil seascapes by Mattituck artist Carol Gold will be on display at Southampton Town Hall from Sept. 1 through Sept. 29 with a reception to be held Friday, Sept. 3, from 4 to 6 p.m.

* Harry Wicks of Cutchogue is a featured artist in ‘Let’s Eat,’ currently on display at the Long Island Museum of Art in Stony Brook. The show features a collection of art focusing on food. One piece titled “Three Pears and a Bad Apple” is a three-dimensional still life created using a lathe. The show will be on display through Sept. 7.

* East End Arts Council in Riverhead is the administrative site for the Strategic Opportunity Stipend Grants, a joint project of the New York Foundation for the Arts and New York State arts and cultural organizations. Artists are invited to apply for awards ranging from $200 to $1500 for opportunities, which must be created by a third party, occurring between Nov. 1 and May 21, 2011. Applications may be download from nyfa.org/SOS or picked up from the EEAC. Submissions must be received by Sept. 24 at 4 p.m. at the EEAC offices. Call 631-727-0900.

To send arts news, e-mail [email protected], fax to 298-3287, or mail to Times/Review Newspapers, P.O. Box 1500, Mattituck, NY 11952. Copy deadline: Wednesday at 5 p.m. to appear the following week.